“I can’t get my child to stop from talking back!” lamented one visibly disturbed mom in a parenting workshop recently.
This, I feel, is becoming an increasing concern. Not just does your child talk back but somehow, he doesn’t realize that it is also disrespectful. This cannot only be frustrating but becomes a bridge you cannot cross if it goes on for too long gradually scarring a child-parent relationship.
At this point, I remembered reading an article addressing this exact issue. It was just the beginning of some disturbing round of words and I was glad for the advice that IMom shared.
Though the back and forth tossing of words with my 6yo continues even today (expression of thoughts is important too), in general things have worked out well. I have used these from time to time with a lot of success for nipping things right at the beginning.
Often when as a parent we engage in lengthy discussions to establish our authority, rather than doing it successfully we dissolve it in the firing of words or end up establishing boundaries. A well thought out response to a child talking back can help to calm a child.
These are some wise words that can help when a child says this!
“This is unfair!”
The comparison with siblings and friends for want of being treated in the exactly same manner. Here a child needs to understand that fair does not mean identical.
As a parent you need to tell your child “You and your brothers and sisters are different just as there are different people around. I will treat you all fairly though perhaps not the same always.”
“He/She is doing it!”
This is a classic case of peer pressure and also parenting pressure. The ‘other parents are doing it’ is a great ploy at making parents feel bad. This comparison must not work.
As a parent assure your child that you understand what is best for him/her. Say “that’s great that they do it. But what works for them may not for us. In our house let’s do it (such as)_____.
“Why can’t you trust me?”
This is a direct attempt to guilt the parents when boundaries are being set. It makes you feel down right pathetic and question if you are showing less faith in your child. Don’t fall for it!
Instead say “ I definitely trust you and you need to trust me. But I also need to do what is right for you and keep you safe. “